the emotional uplift of Stromae in a closing concert, futuristic and precise

The shoes are gray with dust, the legs are starting to get heavy, but the audience is holding on for this last night of the festival. They are tired, but impatient to find the Belgian artist Stromae, whose return to the stage is desired. After the release of his third album amountlast March, he was in charge of the closing of this 18th edition of Rock en Seine, Sunday August 28.

A large screen lit up the back of the stage, as if we were going to an outdoor projection. A film begins and takes us on a journey between an infinite plain and pink mountains. “It’s Tatooine, Actually”a young man laughed at the mention of the saga’s famous desert planet Star Wars. Stromae’s avatar, emblematic figure in the clips of his latest album, appears in a futuristic laboratory, inhabited by robots of all kinds. Lights out. The real Stromae entered the stage in his frilly shirt and with locks of his hair gathered into two small macaroons. “You win more than you lose”, he began, amid shouts of joy from the public who found, little by little, his strength.

We are used to his perfectionism in his previous tours. This is no exception to the rule: in Stromae, everything is accurate. Accompanied by his four musicians behind their white instruments straight from a spaceship in star trek, the singer links the tables. The screen behind him is divided into eight pieces that express the different rhythmic forms of the songs to create more atmospheres. in pieces When it is, the plates form a farandole and rotate behind the artist. The light is weak, and creates a dark and heavy atmosphere. After a few songs, they gather to build a building whose windows reveal scenes of the house.

Like an actor, Stromae changes his costume almost every scene change. He arrived in pastel green pants for the first three songs, light and lively, and wore something else, black this time, for his sadder and deeper voice. The decoration follows the rhythm and changes the rhythm of his desires: his microphone stand becomes a politician’s desk for his piece. children of joy while his seat was replaced by a couch where he slumped during his title Bad day. Stromae revealed to the public a film that was thought out from start to finish.

Belgian singer Stromae at Rock en Seine, in Paris, Sunday August 28, 2022. (ANNA KURTH / AFP)

Under his many hats, Stromae also plays the role of animator and tries to wake up his audience who are sometimes disturbed by changing the atmosphere of different songs. before the song HEALTH did not begin, the small voice gave the rules to be respected: “Ladies and gentlemen, please follow the safety instructions for the next song”. The singer’s avatar asks the audience to learn some dance steps: the arms are stretched to the left then to the right. A great initiative, fun, but difficult to use with 40,000 people who are closely together… Who doesn’t play the game. “That’s a shame”said Emilien, a young festival goer who came to attend the concert. “He did a lot of dancing, but the audience was quite familiar and soft”.

Stromae produced three albums with many hits. CHEESEreleased in 2010, a surprising success, mainly thanks to the title vitamin, Then we danced, which introduced the artist to the whole world. After a burnout and major health problems, which forced him to leave the stage for several years, the Belgian singer returned to force this year with a new album. Album that talks about his depression, his difficulties and his pains. Do these themes resonate with the audience of festival goers who are thirsty for dancing and clapping? Absolutely. When he started the song hell, a title that deals with the subject of suicide, the public sings loudly from the first notes. This is Stromae’s strength: he manages to touch his audience with the simple and powerful words he chooses.

Belgian singer Stromae at Rock en Seine, in Paris, Sunday August 28, 2022. (CHRISTOPHE CRENEL)

The setlist is not done randomly either. Thanks to an effective combination, Stromae managed not to damage the morale of its public and to maintain constant excitement. He sings titles that move, that make you smile All the same hope my love whose reality TV version clip made Internet users laugh a few weeks ago. Then, the atmosphere changes. The singer entered a dark cycle in his track loneliness, which speaks of loneliness and emptiness. “Are you still Rock en Seine?”, he said, laughing. The public clings and follows the artist’s pirouettes without losing their enthusiasm.

To keep the momentum going, Stromae relies on its legendary hits. When the first notes of Papaoutai resonate, the audience becomes unbearable. The artist does not have to sing, the audience takes over. For Jeanne, a fan of the artist since his debut, it was a success: “This is the first time I’ve seen Stromae live and it’s exactly what I imagined”. The same thing happens with severe, piece where the trampling of excitement created a huge cloud of dust. But the apotheosis happens during the encore: Stromae ends with its inimitable Then we dancedwhich once again shows its timelessness.

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